Halotherapy, also known as salt therapy is a popular method not only for treatment of certain medical conditions but also for maintaining of health, beauty and well-being of the guests of spa and wellness centers around the globe. The reasons to own a specialized room for halotherapy, salt room, are plenty but in order to help you to make an informed decision we suggest that you get aquainted with the most important aspects of halotherapy. Specifically, here you will find information on the following topics:
The origins of halotherapy, also known as salt therapy are traced back to ancient Greece. The Greeks placed great faith in the healing power of the salt-rich Mediterranean. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato put it short, "The sea cures all ailments of man". Hippocrates, ancient Greek physician, also known as the "Father of Medicine" used salt in his practice on a regular basis, including inhalation of steam from salt water for the treatment of respiratory ailments.
In the Middle ages, European monks, while mining in salt caves, discovered a method of quickly relieving respiratory ailments, known as speleotherapy. They took sick people to salt caves and let them breathe and inhale the tiny salt particles coming naturally from the crushing of salt rocks.
In mid19-th century, the Polish physician Dr.Feliks Boczkowsky noticed that coal miners suffered heavily from chronic respiratory diseases, while salt miners were rarely ill at all, and in fact they were healthier than most people in the community. Both categories of workers were miners the only difference between them being the stuff they were digging. Based on these findings, his successor, Mstislav Poljakowski established the first salt clinic.
During World War II, salt mines in Germany were used as bomb shelters. During bombings, people often had to remain in the mines for extended periods of time, breathing in the salt dust. Upon leaving, many asthmatics were able to breathe much easier.
The benefits of salt aerosol inhalation have undergone a considerable scientific research since then and this method is considered highly effective against a whole range of respiratory and obstructive airway illnesses. The scientific research of the efficacy of the salt started in 1968. As a result, the officially approved scientific basis of speleotherapy was founded. This came about in the Hospital of Allergic Diseases in the city of Solotvino, West Ukraine, where the treatment and research was carried out in the salt shaft. Much obligated to the research results, the new effective asthma treatment method was established. It acquired the name of "halo therapy". It is based on patients' being in the special salt room, where the salt aerosol is constantly scattered into the air for the patients to breathe in. The salt aerosol consists of tiny and dry salt particles which are grinded in the special salt generator. Salt particles kill pathogenic micro-organisms by dehydrating microbial cells, soothing inflammation, reducing the thickness of mucus, and restoring the body’s ability to remove both mucus and pathogens from the airways. An asthma patient can start breathing easily after just a few sessions, and a complete treatment regimen of six to ten sessions can provide healthful benefits for as long as a year. In a similar way, by widening the airways of the respiratory tract, clearing it of bacteria and viruses, and reducing inflammation, salt therapy can bring relief for people with other respiratory issues such as allergies, sinusitis, rhinitis, bronchitis, emphysema and cystic fibrosis. It’s important to note that there is no risk of a negative interaction with medications, making salt therapy an ideal complementary approach.
Halotherapy consistently demonstrates a dramatic positive effect on symptoms of asthma and obstructive bronchial conditions caused by inflammation and harmful debris in the respiratory system. Naturally antibacterial and anti-inflammatory sodium chloride particles are carried into the deepest recesses of the bronchial system due to the unique aerosol dispersal system and the microscopic size of the particles. Over a series of treatments, inhalation of dry salt aerosol will bring about the improvement of mucociliary clearance and decrease of bronchial inflammation, the decrease or elimination of pathogenic microorganisms, and a reduction of bronchial hyper responsiveness. This translates into better lung function, fewer spasmodic attacks, and clearer air passages with less use of drugs to control symptoms. Even chronic deep cough due to tobacco use, nicknamed "Smoker’s Cough" shows marked improvement with continued treatment.
Halotherapy presents a unique treatment option for allergy sufferers that offers relief naturally and fast. Salt is a well known decongestant; it reduces inflammation widening of the airway passages, restoring the normal transport of mucous secretion and free blockages in the bronchi and bronchioles leading to rapid elimination of the residual tar and foreign allergens. Improved drainage allows for reduction in contaminants that may trigger or prolong allergic episodes. Additionally, salt’s ability to absorb edema from swollen mucosa linings in the sinuses and respiratory tract opens airways to bring about quick relief of symptoms. Long term studies with allergy patients in Russia who reported remarkable improvement over a period of ten years have led to Halotherapy being recognized as a certified allergy treatment by the Russian Ministry of Health and other associations in Europe.
Sessions with Halotherapy have an immediate remedial effect on the symptoms of colds and flu. Breathing becomes easier as inhaled salt aerosol naturally absorbs edema from swollen air passages and thins mucus secretions so that drainage is easier. The dispersal system of microscopic salt particles used in this therapy allows the salt aerosol to be taken deep into these cavities, bringing the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action to the root of the problem. Relief from the irritation of sticky mucus secretions and debris, as well as the antispasmodic effect produce by calming negative particles, calms and quiets coughs. Additionally, the deep cleaning of the sinus cavities and respiratory tract inherent in this type of treatment reduces the toxic load on the immune system, regardless of external exposure. A series of Halotherapy treatments not only helps to relieve and heal a current cold or flu episode, but increases resistance to new infections for months in the future.
Halotherapy’s ability to reduce edema in passages and cavities not immediately accessible to other means of treatment make it the perfect solution for dealing with ear and sinus infections. Halotherapy is perfectly safe and comfortable for children as well as adults, and can bring not only relief in the short term, but lasting resistance to recurrence of such infections. In the case of ear infections, aerosolized particles are able to penetrate deep into the internal passages of the ear, reducing inflammation, edema, and bacteria in the Eustachian tubes. Relief of edema from swollen tissues widens passages, improving drainage and increasing aeration behind the tympanic membrane, reducing infection in the pockets where bacteria often builds due to collected fluid. Relief from sinus infections is also achieved through deep penetrating dry salt particles. The negative charge of dry aerosol particles causes them to be literally drawn into the essentially positively charged environment of inflamed and infected sinus cavities. Relief is achieved quickly as mucus secretions become thinner and are able to drain properly, removing trapped pockets of debris and bacteria. Microscopic salt particles also stimulate the immune system, increasing the body’s innate ability to resist further infection as antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties reduce the current episode. This can significantly reduce the use of antibiotics in chronic sufferers of ear and sinus infections.
Halotherapy has a beneficial influence to the integument system (skin protective layer) and to hair. Halotherapy provides PH normalization and induces reparative and regenerative processes in derma; it increases skin rigidity and stimulates hair growth. The dry salt impacts the skin microcirculation and assists cellular membrane activity. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of Halotherapy treat skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. According to Traditional Chinese medicine, the lung meridian rules the skin, so inhaling salt air will positively affect first the lungs and then the skin. As salt therapy removes toxins and impurities, skin will look and feel better.
A Salt Room’s abundance of negatively charged ions improves moods and relieves fatigue and depression. At the New York State Psychiatric Institute, researchers found that negative ions helped to alleviate the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of winter depression. Barbara Ann Brennan, healer, teacher and author of Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing through the Human Energy Field, believes that illness begins with a weakness in the auric field, or the "luminous body that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body." Salt therapy can be an excellent preventative tool, as salt air and negative ions are thought to charge the auric field and create a more efficient flow of energy. What Are Negative Ions? Simply put, ions are atoms OR molecules that take on an electrical charge .In our modern world, we have too many positive ions, and not enough negative ions. Air conditioning, forced-air heat, chemicals, and even winds rob the air of negative ions, and put too many positive ions in to the air. Salt crystals naturally create negative ions, so halotherapy rooms have high concentrations of negative ions. Why does that matter? Because more than 40 years of research, conducted around the world, shows that treatment with negative ions has beneficial effects for patients with:
- Chronic Bronchitis
- Sinus infections
- COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Allergic rhinitis or Hay Fever
- Ear Infections
- Various acute or chronic respiratory diseases
- Smoker’s cough
Other studies show that negative ions reduce:
And negative ions can dramatically increase your:
- Mental alertness
- Overall sense of well-being
Other than walking along the ocean, or being outside immediately after a thunderstorm, it’s hard to expose yourself to as many negative ions as you can inside a halotherapy room. It’s an enjoyable way to spend 45 minutes literally recharging your mental batteries!
Salt therapy is both an age-old and a new-age healing treatment for the body and soul, a completely non-invasive, natural treatment with no side effects to harm the body in any way.
What exactly the salt room is. Salt rooms come in different sizes, starting from the single-person room (2-3 m2) to 10-persons' room (18m2). Extra large rooms can fit in up to 30 patients at the time. The walls, ceiling and floor of the salt room are covered with at least quadruple layers of salt. This salt is dry and has about 1-15 in depth. For this purpose, 1000-5000 kg clean and white NaCl rock salt is needed. Inside the salt room, patients can experience the following conditions:
- Humidity - 40-50%
- Temperature - 20-24°C
- Aerosol concentration - 0,5-15 mg / m3
The salt aerosol consists of salt particles in sizes of 1-5 μkm. The particles carry kinetic energy which is succeeding immediately after crushing the salt crystals in the grinder. In case of different diseases, various cure modes can be implemented. For example, the level of the aerosol and the duration of the treatment can be adjusted according to the wish. Usually, the common salt treatment session lasts about 20-40 minutes. This is repeated every day in 10 days. It is also extremely recommended to repeat the treatment 2-3 times in a year. The power of the salt generator does not exceed 200W. The salt demand is max 100 g for each session. The salt rooms can be:
- Salt cabins (portable)
The salt room prefigures a dry, sterile and hermetic space in sizes varying from 2-30 m2. Few tones of dry rock salt create a special microclimate which is identical to the underground salt caves:
- Тhe air saturated with salt aerosol, which consists of negative ions - Humidity оф 40-50%
- Temperature 20-24°C
The guestss sit in relaxed positions on the comfortable deck chairs and take sessions of 30-40 minutes. The diffused light and calming music are adding to help the patient relax. The kids can play "sand cave adventures" in the salt box, where sand is substituted by the salt. The aerosol emerging from the salt generator is curative for the skin and respiratory system.
In which cases the salt therapy would be recommended?
- Frequent viral infections, coughs and colds
- Chronic ENT illnesses (ear-nose-throat)
- Frequent ear infections
- Problems with skin, caused by allergies
- Allergic colds
- Eczema and dermatitis
- Stress, nervous instability, anxiety
- Joint aches and arthritis
Doctors say that salt rooms are extremely suitable for asthmatics: the influence of salt facilitates the secretion of sputum, and dyspnea is reduced or disappears totally. Extremely fine salt destroys the bacteria and fungi on mucosa at the same time strengthening the immune system related to mucosa. Therefore, children who have been treated in a salt room have stronger health and they fall ill less frequently. Employees of salt rooms have also experienced the curative influence of it, saying that they have not been ill with any viral diseases during the last two years of working in the salt room. Salt also relieves mucus oedema: you stop sneezing, the congested nose disappears, and rhinitis is relieved or disappears. However, sometimes you start coughing more after being in a salt room. Still this does not mean that your health has worsened. Quite the contrary - it is a sign of recovery. Salt aerosol is good for your nervous system and relieves stress as it contains several negative ions. Besides, salt rooms help to get rid of various dermal problems, as salt destroys bacteria on your skin. Salt rooms have an effect on people with:
- Long acute diseases of the upper airways
- Chronic diseases of the airways
- Chronic pharyngitis
- Chronic tonsillitis or inflammation of the tonsils
- Chronic maxillary sinusitis
- Chronic inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsil
- Bronchitis which has persisted longer than two weeks
- Chronic bronchitis
- Relapsing bronchitis and pneumonia
- Chronic and acute otitis
- Frequent viral infections
- Polinosis or hay rhinitis
- Putrid dermal infection
One treatment session lasts 45 minutes, and depending on the disease you have to go 10-15 times. If necessary, you can have two treatment courses a year. No age limits. Very small children have shorter sessions with lower salt concentration. General practitioners, family doctors, otorhinolaryngologists and allergologists can send patients to a salt room. Widely used is common salt (sodium chloride) or halo aerosols because they are widespread in nature. Normally salt concentration in the air is 0,1-1,5 mg/m3, where it moves due to ventilation. Contemporary technology enables the salt concentration in aerosol to be maintained. 0,5 - 12,0 mg/m3. The main effective factor is a curative breathing environment, which is saturated with common salt/sodium chloride. Dry salt aerosols get into the halo room pneumatically simultaneously grinding salt in "the mill". The latter also generates the negative charge of the particles, which is most favorable to human body.
As Halotherapy is known as a safe and natural treatment, clients who have any serious health conditions or women who are pregnant should always seek proper medical advice from a doctor first. Halotherapy is not recommended for people who have the following conditions:
- Infections associated with a fever
- Contagious diseases
- Cardiac disease patients
- Acute respiratory disease
- Severe hypertension
- Chronic obstructive lung diseases
Salt rooms are methodically designed in such a way so that people can relax in a soothing and tranquil environment. It’s a place where one can sit back and experience the salt treatment in a very peaceful and non-stressful setting. People can read, listen to music or nap if they want to. Each Salt room is different and can have different themes and feels depending on the type salt décor that is used. Each salt room has uniqueness about it but provides the same beneficial wellness treatment that only halotherapy can offer.
Normally there are no side effects. Some people might experience a scratchy throat or a tickle in their sinuses. Others who might be slightly more sensitive could experience a minor skin irritation, which tends to go away after a session or two. For those who experience a slight cough, this is a sign that the salt therapy is effectively working. The body is loosening and releasing all the mucous buildup.
Not really. However, because Halotherapy has a detoxifying effect by releasing toxins and bacteria from the body, people who are taking certain medications might want to wait until they are done with the medication. Always check with your doctor before starting any Salt Therapy treatments if you are taking any medications for severe conditions.